At least $29.8 million will be awarded to smaller** cities and counties by the California Energy Commission (CEC). The CEC has released their final proposed Guidelines for Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants (EECBG) and is holding a Staff Workshop on August 3, 2009 to review the guidelines and answer questions. Cost-effective energy efficiency projects in local government facilities are eligible for funding. Typically the most cost effective projects include, but are not limited to:
- Lighting retrofits and controls
- Street lighting and traffic signal retrofits
- HVAC modifications and controls
- Automated energy management systems, motors, variable speed drives and pumps
- Water/wastewater systems system process and control retrofits.
Each applicant must provide a feasibility study with costs and energy savings estimates on the proposed projects and certify that they are the most cost effective energy efficiency project opportunities.
The CEC is estimating that the funding solicitations could be released in September/October 2009, so it is important that jurisdictions identify projects very soon. Jurisdictions should contact the CEC as soon as possible if they need assistance in identifying projects. Up to $20,000 is currently available for audits. The CEC estimates that project funding awards will be made by February/March 2010. All projects must be completed by September, 2012. The CEC is encouraging joint applications through collaborative partnerships. The CEC is also encouraging match funding such as utility incentives, CEC low interest loans, and bond or other sources of available funds. Match funding, however, is not required.
**Incorporated Cities under 35,000 people and Counties with an unincorporated population under 200,000 are eligible to receive these formula grants through the CEC process. Funding amounts will be based on population, with $5/per total population plus an unemployment calculation adder. Cities that would receive less than $25,000 under the formula qualify for a $25,000 award and counties that would receive less than $50,000 under the formula qualify for a $50,000 award. (Cities over 35,000 and counties over 200,000 will be awarded grants directly through application to the federal Department of Energy [DOE]. The DOE application is due August 10, 2009).
All applicants must have a Dun and Bradstreet DUNS number and a current registration with Central Contractor Registration. Apply for these numbers as soon as possible, since hundreds of jurisdictions will be in queue.